I had a small revelation the other week, as I was doing a dreaded mending task. Husband had ripped his pyjama pants on something, and the otherwise new pyjamas had a gaping hole in the leg. I threw them in the corner for a week, guiltily ignoring their pleas to be repaired until there was a beautiful sunny day when Daughter wanted to ride her bike in the street, and I couldn’t come up with a reason not to mend while I played look-out.
I have feeble but devoted mending skills, which never really stops me from at least trying to repair something. As I was doggedly struggling through the classic right angle rip, a neighbor came over to chat. Unbeknownst to me, mending outside whilst watching a child bike around is not an everyday occurence, and I found myself sucked into one of those circular yet aimless explanations of myself. It turned out to be a good thing, because I was finally able to articulate to both myself and my patient neighbor why it is that I mend, even when clothes are cheap and there is such pressure to purchase new things.
I do it because it is more convenient. It is as simple as that. Yes, it’s cheaper, and it saves things that are salvageable, but really it’s the most convenient solution. I spend about 15 minutes, on average, on a mending job, which is about what it takes me to get to the nearest store or train station. This means that it actually takes me longer to go out to the store and find a replacement than it does to get out my sewing box and mend the thing back together. Plus mending can be tucked into those odd slots in the day, whereas going out to the shop is actually an undertaking.
So I mend, because it’s easier. Yes, it’s work, but so is shopping. Quite frankly, I’d rather be mending out in the sun watching Daughter bike than stuck in a car or airless store. I think most people would, actually.